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Singapore’s KNN3 wants to enable social discovery for decentralized apps

There is no shortage of startups trying to make sense of the explosive growth of data generated from blockchain applications. Nansen is backed by a16z to provide on-chain data analysis for crypto investors. The Graph offers an API for developers to query blockchain data. The latest to gain VC recognition is KNN3, a Singapore-based startup that helps developers make sense of relational data through blockchains.

When we arrive on a social network, the first thing that surfaces is normally suggestions to follow. This information is based on historical analyzes of our digital footprint. KNN3 wants to do the same in web3 by creating graph databases that analyze user relationships, status, memberships, and other chain actions.

The blockchain data space is already quite crowded, admitted co-founder Thomas Yu, but there is still room for more specialized services. Nansen and the web3 Alchemy development platform come as centralized SaaS products. The graph is “programmable”, but the data structure it supports is quite “limited”, Yu explained.

This is why Yu, together with his former colleague from BTC China Wandering Liuset out to create KNN3, a permissionless (hence decentralized) tool for developers to learn from cross-blockchain user data.

KNN3 begins by targeting dApps for consumers in Asia. While much of Web3’s infrastructure building takes place in the West, Asia is generally seen as the center of consumer app innovation, highlighted by the popularity of GameFi platforms like Axie. Infinity and StepN. One of KNN3’s best-known clients is Mask Network, which allows users to send cryptocurrencies over Web2 services and is currently building a decentralized identity system using KNN3’s technology.

In the United States, on the other hand, KNN3 plans to tackle business-facing organizations like Chainlink, which feeds real data called “oracles” into smart contracts and where Yu used to work. KNN3 envisions a new product that would provide cloud services built on top of Chainlink’s oracles, which will ultimately allow developers to build and run decentralized applications and smart contracts without worrying about the “fundamental data layer”. .

“This means that a developer can use a Web2 tool like Google Cloud, but they are actually building a Web3 tool, rather than writing a smart contract and running it across multiple chains. KNN3 built the infrastructure without trust using oracles and developers can just run a container inside,” Yu explained.

KNN3 said it raised $2.4 million in a seed funding round led by crypto-focused venture capital firm HashGlobal and Liang Xinjun, former vice chairman and CEO of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. The round ended in April but wasn’t announced until this month.

Seed investing also had a long line of participating investors — a seemingly popular strategy for blockchain startups to form allies early on. They include Mask Network, MetaWeb Venture, Eniac Venture, Tess Venture, Stratified Capital, Fundamental lab, Incuba Alpha, Zeuth Venture, Cogitent Venture, Atlas Capital; Impossible Finance, RSS3, ShowMe and ETHsign co-founders Yan Xin and Potter Li.

KNN3 currently employs a team of 24 people in Singapore, China, Europe and the United States. With the funding, it seeks to attract more tech talent from Silicon Valley. “It’s a good time to hire in the bear market as many rivals are cutting staff,” Yu said.